Marines from Dubois, Pa., and Marietta, Ohio, killed in Nevada training blast
Lance Cpl. Josh Taylor and Pfc. Josh Martino grew up, say those who knew and loved them, wanting to be one of “the few, the proud, the Marines.”
Joshua M. Martino, 19, of DuBois, Clearfield County, and Joshua C. Taylor, 21, of Marietta, Ohio, were among the seven Marines killed Monday when a mortar shell exploded at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada and sent shrapnel flying into troops during a training exercise. Eight others were injured.
“Josh's lifelong aspiration was to become a Marine,” said Martino's brother, Tony Perry, 37, of the Moshannon area of Centre County. “He took an interest in that at an extremely young age, and when he was in high school, he went to recruiting meetings and various training exercises and whatnot.
“He graduated from (DuBois) High School in June and enlisted in July.”
Nobody can remember Taylor talking about doing anything else either.
“Josh wanted to be a Marine since he was about 5. That was the only thing he talked about, all he ever wanted to do,” said Taylor's grandfather, Larry Stephens, 62, of Lowell, Ohio. “He never said why. He was just a gung-ho Marine.”
Taylor, a 2010 graduate of Marietta High School, committed to the Marines before his senior year and was in boot camp a month after graduation.
He served two deployments — one to Afghanistan and another to Kuwait — and was preparing for a second deployment to Afghanistan.
Martino and Taylor, both members of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Lejeune, N.C., had undergone mountain training in California before going to Hawthorne, Nev., a town steeped in military tradition, calling itself “America's Patriotic Home.”
Officers from Camp Lejeune are in Nevada, trying to determine what caused the mortar shell to explode in its firing tube. The accident prompted the Pentagon to restrict the use of the weapons until an investigation can determine their safety, officials said.
Perry said the accident occurred on what was to be Martino's last day of training in Hawthorne before coming home for Easter.
He described Martino as a talkative former high school athlete and accomplished turkey and deer hunter who planned to marry his high school sweetheart before his unit deployed to Afghanistan in November.
Taylor was planning to marry his high school sweetheart, Abbey Malone, in May, said her father, Keith Malone, a minister at the Winding Road Church of Christ in Parkersburg, W.Va.
As proud as Taylor was to be a “Devil Dog” Marine, Keith Malone said, “You could never meet a nicer, more respectful young man. He was very devout in his faith and very devoted to his mother and family, my daughter and the Marines.”
Taylor also is survived by his mother and stepfather, Jennifer and Robert Collins of Marietta; three sisters; and a brother.
Martino is survived by his mother and stepfather, Karen and James Perry of DuBois; his father, Vincent Martino; and two other brothers.
Also killed were: Cpl. Aaron Ripperda, 26, of Highland, Ill.; Lance Cpl. David P. Fenn II, 20, of Polk City, Fla.; Lance Cpl. Roger Muchnick, 23, of Fairfield, Conn.; Lance Cpl. Mason J. Vanderwork, 21, of Hickory, N.C.; Lance Cpl. William Taylor Wild IV, 21, of Anne Arundel, Md.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Report: DEA prostitutes paid by cartel
- House OKs overhaul of Medicare, keeps kids insurer
- $140M Picasso likely to set auction record
- Jackson Jr. leaves prison for halfway house
- Oklahomans devastated, yet grateful, amid twister cleanup
- Feds arrest guardsman, cousin for terror plot on military facility
- Balanced GOP budget blueprint nears Senate OK
- Big croc predated dinosaurs, roamed North Carolina region
- Bergdahl, speaking for 1st time, claims 12 attempts to flee Taliban
- Blast collapses NYC apartments, injures 12